Some of the favourite British words that begin with B are brilliant, bollocks (which is not a swear word, by the way), and bloody.
I particularly like the word bloody, which is so commonly used, usually for an emphasis, whether it carries a positive or a negative connotation. It could be bloody good or bloody awful. It always sounds funny to me. But I must say, I use it quite a bit in my vocabulary, getting used to an eccentric English way.
Anyways, why would I want to write about the word “bloody”?
Well, it has its deep and colourful roots in the history of England, which was very brutal and, as you may probably imagine, filled with blood.
Recently, I visited the Tower of London for the second time, and I emerged myself once again into the ancient, powerful, and intriguing British history. The Tower of London was built by William The Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, after the notorious Norman Conquest in 1066.
The Tower of London contains a 1000-year history that shaped the entire History of Great Britain and influenced the world. And now, it is one of the most highly visited tourist attractions that captivates the minds of people from all over the world.
Throughout centuries, kings and queens have strengthened this iconic royal fortress for defence and attack at home and abroad. Even to these days, it protects Crown Jewels, a collection of crowns, rings, sceptres, vestments, and more used for royal ceremonial occasions, usually coronations. The estimate of the entire collection is about $ 4 billion…
The castle has served as a royal palace, royal ordnance, Crown Jewels, a zoo, and infamous prison and a place of execution. And as we were told, it was a great privilege to be executed at the Tower, where the royal figures were decapitated, such as Ann Boleyn, the wife of Henry VIII and the queen of England in the 16th century, being charged with adultery and treason.
Lady Jane Gray, known as “the Nine Days Queen”, who rapidly rose and fell from the ruler of England to the prisoner at the Tower and eventually found guilty of treason and beheaded on the Tower Green in 1554.
The most intriguing murder at the Tower was the story of 2 princes, the 12 and 10 year old sons of Edward IV. After Edward’s death in 1483, the princes were declared illegitimate and their uncle was crowned King Richard III. What became of the princes remains a mystery; they were never seen alive again.
Centuries later, in 1674 two skeletons were found hidden under the staircase leading from the royal apartments to the Chapel of St John in the White Tower. The bones were re-buried at Westminster Abbey. The skeletons were forensically re-examined in 1933. It was concluded, they belonged to two boys, aged about 10 and 12 years.
You see, the games for the crown were brutal and merciless.
The most gruesome and officially known as the bloodiest execution at the Tower of London was the one of the illegitimate son of king Charles II, James Scott in 1685. The executioner was a part-time butcher and a full time drunk. It took him 5 strikes to finish the poor Duke of Monmouth in inexplicable agony. The first blow inflicted only a slight wound. Several more inaccurate strikes with an axe followed, drawing forth execrations and groans, prolonging the suffering…
There are many horrible and really bloody stories of royal kings and queens around the castle, let alone the peasants.
What quite impressed me was the torture chamber. In the 1500s and 1600s, during a period of extreme political and religious upheaval, torture was used at the Tower as a severe punishment for criminals. The manacles, the torture rack and the scavenger’s daughter were the instruments of torture inflicting appalling pain.
The manacles served to put the wrists and ankles in to inhibit the movement of the body. And people were left hanging by the hands and arms fastened above their heads…
The rack was used to dislocate the bones of a person and eventually tear the person’s limbs apart…
The scavenger’s daughter was a kind of torture device that compressed the body of the victim in painful proportions. This was the opposite torture compared to the famous Rack where the victim’s body was stretched and limbs torn apart.
Simply unimaginable, diabolical and slowly excruciating death..
Those were the dark times, when human life wasn’t appreciated at all.
Why am I sharing these horrors with you?
Well, it actually made me think how blessed we are to live during times we live now. We live in bloody good times, in the times of opportunity, human potential, and freedom.
We are free to choose and shape our life according to our dreams, and not be at the mercy of capricious kings and queens.
We can always change the direction of our life, if we are not happy with the present set of circumstances. We can choose people in our circle. We are free to choose who we tie our life with.
We have resources, information, answers and solutions ready to serve us. We can get help and mentorship, whenever we are stuck and seek clarity.
If you need a coach to help you get clarity, schedule a free discovery call with me by clicking here
We can have happiness, freedom, joy, love and prosperity. The choice is ours.
Isn’t it a good enough reason to celebrate and be grateful for? Take a moment to express gratitude for all the blessings you have now.
Learn the history of the past but be focused on intentionally creating the history of your life. As Winston Churchill said, “The history will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”